Salim wins battles against defenders and midfielders with cheeky easy because of his high energy levels. The fast-rising midfield merchant plays like a man powered by ten fully-charged trailer batteries.
The teenager, who stands at 1.76m, gags spaces, destroys opposition game play, scatters attackers and starts new ones. The talented youngster has got the power in his legs to shoot from range.
He has covered every blade of grass in almost all 21 fixtures he featured in for Tema City FC. Tema is gradually becoming Africa’s leading hub for producing talented young footballers after Atletico de Madrid landed Thomas Teye Partey from Tema Youth some six seasons ago.
At just 17, Salim has been phenomenal for his club helping them to lift two trophies in the last 4 months. He recently skippered coach Kwame Obeng’s side to title-winning heroics in the 2019 Palace Cup and won the MVP award in the tournament.
Top modern day defensive midfielders starting from Claude Makelele to Michael Essien to N’Golo Kante have all exhibited great versatility and ambidextrous qualities.
Salim can also play as a defender, both on the right of defence and in the centre. In addition to his work-rate, physicality, and defensive skills, also possesses good technique, vision, tactical intelligence, and leadership qualities, and is a powerful striker of the ball from distance.
Below are his key attributes
1 – Pace and Power
Salim can run! That’s the long and short of it. The number of ground he covers per match is quite amazing – the workaholic midfielder covers at least 11 kilometres per game which is usually more than 30% of what his entire team covers per match. He is a defensive midfielder who can run and cover more ground than a gazelle. Whereas most defensive midfielders concentrate more on reading the game and making interceptions, Salim has the ability to chase down opponents and winning back possession – it’s what makes him stand out.
2 – Talented!
Salim’s talent just sums up everything. His talent is what really sets him apart. By my assertion, Salim is the most talented and the best defensive midfielder in the West African country at his age, hands down! His talent and quality is what sets him up for a great future.
3 – Immense physical presence
Good luck to you if you intend on outmuscling Salim in any midfield bull fight, on any day. The young man weighs 75kg and is 1.76m tall and he employs his energy to show the strength he has under his belt at his young age. Salim is strong! This guy is moulded to explode into top-flight football very soon. His immense physical strength has seen him win 269 duels in his 23 competition appearances, per local scouting stats. He complements a dying breed of physically strong defensive midfielders in Africa since the exit of Michael Essien and Yaya Toure.
Resurgent Accra Hearts of Oak are building a youthful squad with manager Kim Grant turning his youngsters into a winning side. The Ghanaian giants along with Medeama SC are among clubs who have received high recommendation about the player from top scouts.
“In Salim you find amassing glimpses of what you saw in Michael Essien playing in Europe. I watched Essien growing through Liberty Professionals and playing for Ghana at U17 and U20 levels. This lad has got it,” Fred Acquah, one of Ghana’s leading scouts spoke high of the youngster.
Ghana Sports understands clubs from Eastern Europe, Italy, Denmark and France are monitoring his progress.
By El Akyereko
Follow the writer on Twitter: @AkwasiAkyereko